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3 Easy GMAT Math Concepts You Can Learn by Heart

February 17, 2015 by

There is  more than one way to solve almost every GMAT math problem you will encounter on the exam. On most problems, you have a choice. You can either:

On GMAT number property questions, knowledge of the properties themselves will often allow you to solve without having to do time-consuming math. These number properties fall into three commonly-tested categories. Get familiar with these categories and practice the skills needed for the GMAT so you can boost your score on GMAT Test Day.

Integers and non-integers

An integer is any whole number: positive, negative, or zero. If you add, subtract, or multiply two integers together, the result will always be an integer. However, if you divide two integers, the result may or may not be an integer.

Even and odd numbers

An even number is … Read full post

Make the Most of Your GMAT Practice Test

February 10, 2015 by

As Kaplan instructors, we’ve seen it hundreds of times: a student diligently takes a GMAT practice test once—sometimes twice—per week while studying for the GMAT and finds him or herself tripping up on the same issues every time. Not the same broad content areas, like geometry or sentence correction, but the same specific tricks, like the side ratios of 30-60-90 triangles or the application of the past perfect tense.

There is a simple prescription for this ailment: read the explanations on your practice exams!

Use GMAT practice test explanations to raise your score

The explanations given along with each sample GMAT question in your test prep material contain the most useful lessons and the most explicit feedback in the battery of information that results from a GMAT practice test. Being able to see how every single question can be solved in the most accurate and timely way is an … Read full post

Tackling GMAT Data Sufficiency Questions

February 5, 2015 by

For many students studying for the GMAT, the dreaded data sufficiency questions can be a source of consternation. When you really think about it, though, the data sufficiency questions offer one advantage in that they all have the same answer choices. One of the first steps toward success on the GMAT quantitative section is to learn and internalize these answer choices, but you can also learn this great method for eliminating wrong answer choices by determining the applicability of each statement.

GMAT Data Sufficiency Foundations

In case you haven’t committed them to memory yet, here are those familiar choices:

  • (A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
  • (B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked.
  • (C) BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked,
  • Read full post

3 GMAT Prep Mistakes to Avoid

January 13, 2015 by

Kaplan GMAT instructors will tell you that we hear common refrains from our students and friends. In my years of teaching, I have compiled a list of three of the most common mistakes my Kaplan students and personal friends have made while they are prepping for the exam. Test takers beware: avoid these common GMAT prep mistakes on the road to GMAT success.

Mistake #1:  Failing to make studying concrete

You’ve done this at least once. You say you’re going to study. You probably said it something like this: “I have to study for the GMAT this week.” Then suddenly, it’s Sunday night again and another week has passed and you didn’t crack a book or open your GMAT online syllabus. What happened? When planning your GMAT study, be specific. Don’t just say you need to do it, and don’t even just list Monday – ‘GMAT PREP!!!’ … Read full post

Master These GMAT Math Skills

January 5, 2015 by

Start the year off strong by diving in to your GMAT prep with vigor (or renewed vigor, as the case may be.) The math section is often the most feared, but the quantitative content on the GMAT is definable and conquerable. Brush up on the math skills that the exam tests and pair this knowledge with solid critical thinking to be successful.

Remember, the concepts presented here are the basics of what the GMAT test.  For advanced concepts and questions, the test makers have unique ways of making these more difficult.

Math Skill #1 – Arithmetic

While arithmetic is foundational in grade school (and a great deal of review for many students), you must study the fundamentals as well as the more advanced concepts.  The GMAT test your ability to:

·  Manipulate fractions, decimals, and ratios (as well as the need to convert among the three)
·  Understand the … Read full post

How Do You Study for the GMAT? Set Up a Calendar

January 2, 2015 by

It’s a new year, and many of you are working on establishing new routines and habits. Now is a perfect time to start (or re-start) a GMAT study schedule. We’ve got some advice to help get you on the right track.

Studying for the GMAT is a serious commitment, and usually takes 2-3 months or more. While most of you prepping for the GMAT know what to study, you probably have many questions about how to study. Study schedules can definitely vary depending on your particular variables, including:

We have a long history of working with students and studying how you learn, which has allowed us to develop some general rules of thumb to remember as you begin to form your personalized schedule to study for the GMAT.

Create a Detailed Study Schedule

The first thing to know about … Read full post

Will I Ever Use My GMAT Skills Again?

December 19, 2014 by

One of the questions many GMAT students ask is “why do we have to take this [insert colorful word] test anyway?” There is despair and frustration evident in the question—I want to be a management consultant, for heaven’s sake, why am I studying exponents? 

While I believed very strongly that the admissions tests were indeed relevant and always said so, I lacked the real-world business school examples to back up my claims. Until now.

GMAT Skills Are Relevant

After less than a semester of business school, knowledge of the following GMAT (and GRE) topics have already proven indispensable to my success:

1) Fractions: Oh yes, it’s third-grade math back to haunt you! Specific example? In Accounting, we study various financial ratios that determine the health of the business. For instance, the current ratio, a measure of solvency, is calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities. A question … Read full post

Beating the GMAT: Intelligence is Insufficient

April 8, 2014 by

Undoubtedly, the GMAT can be a frustrating test to learn how to beat. Most who find themselves in battle with it end up following a red herring by questioning what the heck this test has to do with business. Entertaining this line of inquiry is a fool’s errand and takes the focus off the necessary work. Further, getting distracted by a why-do-I-have-to-what-does-this-have-to-do-with-anything mindset constructs cognitive walls that impede progress.

Rest assured: the GMAT is a valid and useful tool for assessing your business school application package. If you want more information as to the how-and-why of GMAT validity, read this and this or go here. Despite the legitimacy of the exam, I always like to offer brief comments to my students regarding the relevance of GMAT questions and tested skills to managerial acumen when the opportunity arises. The reactions I get are seldom revelatory, but I like to sow … Read full post

Spring Study Tips for the GMAT

March 20, 2014 by

Today is the Vernal Equinox in the northern hemisphere. This marks the beginning of spring, which is a great time for change and celebration – and for us to share some study tips for the GMAT.

Springtime Studies

When we think of the spring, we think of new beginnings. The trees and flowers are waking up (for better or worse, where allergy sufferers are concerned), the birds and frogs start singing again, and we’ve got new, longer hours of daylight now that we’ve changed the clocks. I’ve got a tray of seedlings going, and the tomatoes, basil, and okra are starting to poke their heads out of the soil, reminding me that it’s time to start new things.

Use this time of year to restart or kick-start your GMAT studies, if needed. Are you stalled out, slacking, or just plain burned out? Take a cue from the verdant vernal changes … Read full post

GMAT Critical Reasoning Practice Question & Explanation

March 6, 2014 by

You may not love doing GMAT Critical Reasoning practice, but it’s good for your score. We initially posted this stimulus and question on Facebook – give it a try:

While the average American reads only two books per year, researchers have recently concluded that by reading  two books per month, people can expect their memorizing capacity to double. The most effective way for Americans to begin to read two books per month – thus increasing their memory capacity – is to support Proposition 75, which will require students to read at least two books per month beginning in 2nd grade and through their senior year of high school. 

Which of the following can be most properly drawn, if the statements above are true, about future reading habits and memorization capacity?

  • A)  If Proposition 75 passes, all teen-agers will see a significant increase in their ability to memorize for tests.
  • Read full post


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